Child abuse is where a parent or a guardian, causes injury, death, emotional harm or a risk of serious harm to a child. There are many types of child maltreatment, this includes neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse.
Physical abuse involves non-accidental harming of a child by, for example, burning, beating, or breaking bones. Verbal abuse involves harming a child by, for example, belittling them or threatening physical or sexual acts. All this results in emotional trauma. Studies show that one in four girls and one in eight boys are sexually abused before the age of eighteen. There are various signs to take into account if you suspect that a child might have been abused. Some of these signs are injuries, fearful behavior (depression, unusual fears, attempts to run away), sexually transmitted diseases, a sudden change in self-confidence, desperately affectionate behavior, etc.
If you suspect that a child has been abused in any way, if you are older, you can try contacting a pediatrician or a local child protective agency for help. Although, if you are younger, you may try talking to the person who has been abused, understanding and supporting them will help them gain back their confidence. Whatever the nature of the abuse, steps should be taken immediately to report the abuse and obtain help. Delaying a report decreases the child’s chances for a full recovery.